Depending on the state of your mouth (your everyday oral hygiene and how often you visit your dentist) you may need a regular or a deep cleaning. A standard cleaning is a minor procedure that should be performed twice a year. A deep clean is recommended for those who have missed a couple of those periodic appointments and therefore have developed gum disease.
Your hygienist may also examine your teeth for pocketing, which is when the space between teeth and gums is more than 5 mm. Ongoing gum inflammation can cause periodontitis, eventually causing pockets to develop between your gums and teeth that fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria. In time, these pockets become deeper, filling with more bacteria. If the space is greater than 5mm, a deep cleaning may be recommended.
If a deep cleaning has been recommended, it is essential that these be carried out soon after diagnosis to prevent any further health complications.